Washington, D.C., January 14, 2014 –The number of applicants for admission to veterinary medical school for the 2014 Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) cycle remained essentially the same as the number during the previous year, but the overall number of applications rose, based upon recent VMCAS data.
“These data suggest that dedicated and talented young men and women continue to view veterinary medicine as a viable and rewarding career opportunity in the health sciences,” said AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew Maccabe.
The number of unique applicants slightly decreased from 6,766 in 2013 to 6,744 for 2014, or 0.33%. (See Figure 1). When viewed against the five-year average of unique applicants (6,337), the 2014 numbers represent a 6.4% increase in unique applicants.
This year, a total of 29,805 applications for admission were submitted, compared with 27,705 applications for last year, representing an increase of 7.5%. When viewed against the five-year average for the number of applications (24,309), this year’s total represents an increase of 23%.
The increased number of applications probably results from the addition of three additional colleges of veterinary medicine to the VMCAS system for the 2014 application year, according to AAVMC officials.
The applicants-to-seat ratio for the class of 2018 is estimated at 2.1 to one. (See Figure 2). Ten years ago, the ratio was 1.9 to one, and the ratio has remained fairly constant throughout the past decade, according to AAVMC records.
Three additional colleges, Ross University in St Kitts, the Midwestern College of Veterinary Medicine in Glendale, Arizona, and Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee, began participating in the VMCAS program this year, creating more opportunities for application. Because Ross admits three classes per year, there was a net increase of five new programs participating in VMCAS.
“Given the size of the applicant pool, the new programs did not result in additional unique applicants, but spread the existing application pool slightly wider,” said AAVMC Director of Admissions and Recruitment Tony Wynne, noting that each prospective student applied to an average of 4.4 institutions.
All of the data presented pertains to AAVMC member institutions that participate in VMCAS, which represents 90.5% of first-year seats at U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine.
The 2014 cycle also saw a number of changes and improvements in the operation of the VMCAS service itself, according to Wynne. Chief among those were transcript verification, a new automated service that increased efficiencies for both the applicants and the colleges, the introduction of a new and improved web-based student management system called WebAdMIT, and a transfer of customer service operations to Liaison International, a Boston-based contractor.
The AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include 35 veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada, nine departments of veterinary science, eight departments of comparative medicine, thirteen international colleges of veterinary medicine, and six affiliate colleges of veterinary medicine.
NOTE: Figure One, VMCAS Six-Year Applicant and Application Trends, and Figure Two, Veterinary Medical College Applicants to Available First-Year Seats
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Jeffrey Douglas or Jeanne Johnson
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